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44 killed in Egypt clashes

Egypt has been gripped by turmoil since the army ousted Mohamed Morsi after mass protests.

Egypt has been gripped by turmoil since the army ousted Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his rule.

CAIRO - At least 44 people were killed in clashes in Egyptian cities on Sunday, security sources said, after opponents and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi took to the streets in one of the bloodiest days since the army seized power.

In a sign of more possible violence to come, an alliance including Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to protest from Tuesday and gather on Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, declaring: "No one will stop us from (Tahrir) no matter what the sacrifices".

Egypt has been gripped by turmoil since the army ousted Morsi on 3 July after mass protests against his rule, prompting his Muslim Brotherhood to demonstrate in the streets.

Authorities warned on Saturday that anyone who protested against the army during ceremonies marking the anniversary of an attack on Israeli forces during the 1973 war would be regarded as an agent of foreign powers, not an activist.

The interior ministry, which said it had arrested 423 people, described the clashes as an attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to "ruin the celebrations and cause friction with the masses".

Protesters had been heading towards Tahrir Square, the rallying point for the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, security sources said.

The military often accuses the Brotherhood of inciting violence during protests, accusations it denies.

The state news agency reported that during clashes in the Nile Delta province of Qulubiya, authorities arrested 25 members of the Brotherhood who had 51 hand grenades.

The Brotherhood says it is opposed to the violent methods of other Islamist groups. Attacks by militants on police and soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula have increased sharply since Morsi was toppled.